How would this car perform in a climate where it snows part of the year?

Asked by Jan 30, 2013 at 05:37 PM about the Volkswagen Thing

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

16 Answers


It would perform OK since it's rear engined. Since it's air cooled, the occupants better dress warm.


It would perform OK since it's rear engined. Since it's air cooled, the occupants better dress warm

the "Thing" performs?....never seen run on the roads...I wonder why?

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VW stopped making them in 1983 and they weren't very popular when new.


the Thing (Type 181) has a long history, tracing it's roots to the WWII Kubelwagen. With rear-engine and good ground clearance, it performs well off-road and in winter climates. It was dropped in the US in 1975 as it was reclassified as a passenger car and subjected to stricter safety requirements. It lived on as a military spec vehicle until 1983 and was replaced by the Type 183 Iltis. The Thing was inexpensive to own and maintain and pretty reliable...something we miss in today's car market. If you are worried about staying warm, there are aftermarket electric heater duct boosters, oil intercooled heaters, and even VW OEM "Eberspacher" fuel fed heaters. If you've got a Type 181 in good condition, cherish it...keep it in good repair and pamper've got a rare gem from the VW family.

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I've seen two. One of them had it's GAS heater ON FIRE. How smart is it to use gasoline to warm the tootsies? Them Germans got it all figured out. eh?

These things are HORRIBLE polluters. I speak from my SMOG duty at Greenworld. Troublesome defective No 3 cylinder on account of the oil cooler heatin' that section of the engine disproportionately. Air cooled is a fine idea, if you don't mind chokin' to death with the fumes emitted. You could fill an entire football field with HONDAs and it would not pollute as much a single air-cooled job. Personally have owned a dozen punch-buggies over the years, Won't even list them in "my garage".


See any 73 Hondas on the road much?

the VW bus is still in tourist service with 7 passengers and 40 HP in South America- We don't care about pollution. Must be a California THING....LOL You can spot a beetle owner by his jeans that have holes in the knees, from gettin down to service his engine.


Worn knees on the jeans -- signs of VW love...

@scott, you know as well as I that the Japanese did not show their excellence to the American market until the Fuel Crunch of the mid-70s. You cannot argue that the Japanese are acutely aware of the emissions, Where as the gevernlicht really could care less about it.

sadly, my MINI is actually German, of BMW ilk, not the beloved John Cooper that we've all come to love.


The vehicles in Japan have much less emissions control than the models they sell over in the the mid-70s, they were notorious for using 2-stroke engines because of their small size but decent power. Some of their vehicles still lack catalytic converters when used in Japan.

my beloved MINI gets 20 mpg on a good day, is stinky, squealy and insists on ethyl 91 gas....somehow have fallen in love. Go drive an insensitive SUV. have a good time, all the time* (quote from Spinal Tap 1984) *David K. -my friend

I believe that the SMOG disaster of the LA basin played a role in the legislation that put us where we are today. Wish they'd all MELLOW out and not insist on 0-60 numbers and settle into electric power. I have a design for a human-powered vehicle, Goddamn ineventhelp kept my roll of drawings and insisted I build one, then we could talk....bastards.

You cannot have a MINI in icy climates. Here in Clearlake, punched the bottom on one of our famous surface of the moon roads and had to put on a titanium shield, so Yes, you are right. these things are for sport, as my hardware guy called them "rollerskates"!

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